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Simon Killer (2013)

tomatometer

73

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 13

Though its bleak themes may be off-putting for some, Simon Killer is an engrossing, effective character study of a brutal, enigmatic figure.

61

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 7

Though its bleak themes may be off-putting for some, Simon Killer is an engrossing, effective character study of a brutal, enigmatic figure.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 948

My Rating

Movie Info

A heartbroken American on a soul-searching trip to Paris finds his buried secrets clawing their way to the surface in this neo-noir thriller from writer/director Antonio Campos (Afterschool). Lovelorn in the aftermath of a recent break-up with his longtime girlfriend, American college graduate Simon (Brady Corbet) wanders the streets of Paris aimlessly, and drifts into a sex parlor where he encounters mysterious prostitute Victoria (Mati Diop). His emotions suddenly reawakened, Simon hatches a

Unrated,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Antonio Campos

Sep 17, 2013

$21.3k

IFC Films

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Cast

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (13)

Simon Killer is a sensory, experiential film - more of a state of mind than a straightforward story.

May 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Self-consciousness passing for style.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Simon Killer" is a beautifully made look at ugliness and brutality, the kind of oxymoronic exercise that fascinates some and repels others.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Another terrific performance from Brady Corbet, but it's in the service of a parade of horrors that never leads anywhere interesting.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: TheWrap
TheWrap
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is brutally raw and difficult watching.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The overall sense
of chilly disengagement becomes trying, and there's a last-minute switch that suggests that Campos is trying to have his croissant and eat it.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a highly engaging dramatic thriller hidden somewhere in this lugubrious, tamped-down Parisian nightmare.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

Not for everyone, in fact generally disrecommended for anyone except those who admired Martha Marcy May Marlene.

April 27, 2013 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

... a sexy, edgy character study that slowly draws you into its web even as it unnerves you ... a hybrid of 'The Talented Mr. Ripley" and, for its steamy lovemaking, the X-rated 'Last Tango in Paris.'

April 25, 2013 Full Review Source: CinemaDope
CinemaDope

Simon Killer is as juvenile as the behaviour of its central character, but thankfully its weaker moments are reasonably scarce and for the most part the film is an interesting, if a little surface level, character study that is difficult to shake off.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

Unpleasant, but not negligible.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Simon Killer leaves you uneasy long before you wonder if Simon will get caught or find a conscience for his crimes, both real and imagined.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Although Brady Corbet is a compelling actor and succeeds at times in capturing an almost boyish charm, he's playing a nasty, unappealing and unredemptive character.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

For a horror film, this is unusually subtle and disturbing, rather than all-out scary, quietly profiling a creepy central character in ways that are designed to provoke the audience.

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

The performances of Brady Corbet as the taciturn American and Mati Diop as the sympathetic prostitute lend the film watchability ...

April 12, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Brutal, nasty, unflinching. If you like that kind of thing.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

An artfully shot, po-faced thriller about an American graduate student going to pieces on an extended break in Paris.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

Impressively directed and sharply written, this is a disturbing study in sociopathy with a compelling lead performance from Brady Corbet.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

A refreshing departure from the current glut of slasher movies that make the mistake of thinking more gore can ever replace the feeling of icy dread that you've been played by a madman.

April 10, 2013 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Builds a quiet, creeping sense of menace, with a courageously unsympathetic performance from Corbet at its icy heart.

April 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Simon Killer

'Simon Killer'. A wonderful character study into a deeply-disturbed individual. Writing, acting, directing, soundtrack. Tick.
April 7, 2013
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

Following a rough break-up with his girlfriend, twenty-something New Yorker, Simon (Corbet) travels to Paris where an acquaintance, Carlo (Ronchi) has allowed him to make use of his apartment. Simon spends days walking the city, seemingly attracting negative attention from many locals. One night he wanders into a brothel where he meets prostitute Noura (Diop), who seems to show him more affection than is normal for such a situation. A few nights later, Simon is attacked by a group of youths (after possibly provoking them on purpose) and turns up at the brothel, telling Noura he has nowhere to stay. She invites him to stay with her and quickly falls for him romantically. It soon becomes apparent he's far from the innocent abroad she mistook him for.

Last year, Campos acted as producer for Sean Durkin's feature debut, 'Martha Marcy May Marlene'. Here, the roles are reversed, with Durkin producing Campos' follow-up to 2008's 'Afterschool'. Between the two of them, they seem to be forming a two-man American new-wave. While the rest of the American indie film community seems intent on boring us with dull "dramedies", Campos and Durkin ignore the restrictions of their budgets to give us low budget movies of a quality not seen since the Australian New Wave of the seventies. Like those Aussie flicks, their movies feel geographically unique; not quite American, not yet European, but borrowing the best elements of both schools.

Like 'MMMM', 'Simon Killer' is a "snippet" movie. Rather than a traditional three act structure consisting of a beginning, middle and end, we find ourselves thrown in at the deep end of the narrative. At first Simon appears to be a sympathetic victim of his own romantic nature, struggling to adapt to an intimidating alien city. It's a cinematic con-trick, deftly played by Campos and his committed, perfectly cast, leading man. Over the past decade we've grown accustomed to seeing Anglo-Saxons suffer at the hands of Europeans, be it physically ('Hostel'), psychologically ('Berberian Sound Studio'), or culturally ('Vicky, Christina, Barcelona'), but here Campos and Corbet flip things around. Early on, Simon appears to be suffering from mistreatment at the hands of Parisians, both aggressive males and apathetic females. As things progress, and Campos' constantly tracking camera begins to allow us to see his subject's face, rather than following him from behind to conceal his true nature, we realize Simon, not Paris, is the film's true antagonist.
Campos isn't a film-maker prone to spoon-feeding his audience, and his long takes (one unbroken static shot on a dance-floor is a stunning representation of Simon's coiled aggression) may well test the patience of less committed viewers. Those who appreciate a film which allows you to fill in the blanks will be richly rewarded. The American New-Wave has arrived!
May 13, 2013
themoviewaffler.com
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

Convincing portrait/collage of a psychopath with a slow pace, Simon Killer is beautifully filmed and has a career best performance from a nuanced Brady Corbet. An excellent soundtrack and skewed visual style add to the strangely addictive quality the film. One if a kind, and not for everyone.
July 24, 2014
danieljparsons

Super Reviewer

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